SOURCE: TUSHKAR SHIRODKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.
India has started work on the development of a new 5000 km K-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in the K family after successful completion of developmental trials of 3500 km K-4 intermediate-range submarine-launched ballistic missile as per latest media report.
Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) got approvals for the development of the K-5 SLBM a few years back but it was purely limited to Research and development of MIRV (Multiple Independently targetable Reentry Vehicle ) capabilities which DRDO has been working on after voluntarily suspending its land-based ballistic missile program after the development of Agni-V ICBM.
Agni-V ICBM which is set to be inducted soon after its series of trials last year, like will see the introduction of the MIRV capabilities on the K-5 SLBM then any future land-based ICBM. DRDO is likely to start work on the first experimental prototype of K-5 SLBM from this year onwards for testing later this year or next year
According to media reports, K-6 which will be the successor to the K-5 program also has been approved but the SLBM will take another 4-5 years before it is ready to begin experimental trials. K-6 reportedly will have a range of over 8000 km and will come with MIRV and will be capable to dodge Anti-ballistic missiles.
Both K-5 and K-6 will arm the future variants of Arihant class submarines called has S4 and S4*, while both shorter-range K-15 (1000 km) and K-4 (3500 km ) will arm Ins Arihant and Ins Arighat.
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